Ariel Castro Faces 329 Charges For Rape, Kidnapping In Cleveland Missing Women Case

  @Keemohan on June 08 2013 5:47 AM

The Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for a decade has been charged with 329 counts of rape, kidnapping and murder on Friday, reports said.

Castro, a former school bus driver, kidnapped Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and locked them up inside his house for a decade.

Ariel Castro, 52, was charged with murder for terminating the pregnancies of one of the women, Knight, whom he held captive.

She was impregnated five times by Castro, but the pregnancies were aborted due to constant physical assault. Knight was quoted by the Huffington Post as saying she was starved and repeatedly punched in the stomach until she miscarried.

Castro fathered a child with Berry, who is now six-years-old.

Besides murder, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in a statement cited by Reuters that the indictment charges Castro with 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools.

"Today's indictments represent a first major step in the criminal justice process," McGinty said.

Castro had been on suicide watch from the date of his arrest on May 6 until three days ago. He was arrested after Berry escaped and alerted neighbors.

Jim Wooley, attorney for Berry, DeJesus, and Knight, issued a statement after the indictment. 

"We have a great legal system plus confidence and faith in the prosecutor's office and its decisions," he said. "Now, we need to stand back and let the judicial process unfold." 

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